Bords delivers digital cork board and magnets too

Spoiler alert! Bords is remarkably well conceived and executed for a $2 app. It provides a sense of organization without the rigidity of a daily planner and allows you to keep track of anything from vacation photos to project notes on a digital version of a refrigerator door.


Some people organize their lives to the minutest detail. Some, like me, gave up long ago because we feel a cluttered life is richer than one with everything in its proper place.

Others would like to organize their lives but couldn’t organize a silverware drawer. They try to organize, but it all falls apart. The best they can manage is taking things to a bulletin board or refrigerator door, only to discover the board or door is as cluttered as the clutter they wanted to avoid.

Bords is the perfect application for the organizationally handicapped. Instead of having to keep track of everything on one refrigerator door, you can have as many refrigerator doors as you need. You can have one for vacation photos, one for random class notes, one for deep thoughts and even one for scribbling.

Or you can use different boards to keep track of brainstorming on as many projects as you need (which is how developer Soliant Consulting promotes it). Bords lacks the sophistication of an advance brainstorming program such as OmniGraffle, but it doesn’t cost $50 either.

You can use different boards to organize different projects and categories, making it far easier to organize without being anal about it.

I’m not sure I would use Bords at all if I needed professional brainstorming features. It lacks the tree structuring tools and flow charting capabilities of apps like iThoughtHD, which can run as high as $10-12. Those apps make it easier to reorganize and move entire chains of thought. On the other hand, laying out your thoughts and ideas is a lot easier for students and casual users.

You can create as many boards as you want, and even style them to resemble different styles of boards, including cork, chalk, whiteboard and magnetic. In fact the only surface I didn’t find was a refrigerator door. It would be cool if they’d add one, but maybe it’s just me.

You can add just about anything to the boards. You can add and overlap text fields, photos, sticky notes, lines and objects. You can customize almost every item, including changing the lines into arrows or dashes and color-coding everything. You can rotate and resize arrows, and if you simply want to scribble on your board, you can also use a marker or eraser.

You can add just about anything to the board and arrange it in any way you please. This allows you to keep your thoughts as cluttered or anally precise as suits your style. You can also search for any text across multiple boards.

The main library interface resembles the iTunes interface, allowing you to swipe through your boards, or view them as thumbnails or a list. If you remember to save your changes manually (by clicking on the “my boards” button) you can even save the current screen state to its preview.

You can also search for the text of any note in your collection from inside any board. It would be nice if you could directly import found text from the other board into the current one, but for now you will have to settle for jumping to the board containing the text.

You can combine scribbles and typed text for quick diagrams. The pen tool allows you to customize the pen’s thickness and color.

You can also share your boards with colleagues or friends as PDF files or images. You can also print them with AirPrint.

Manipulating objects can be a little clumsy at times, but nothing broke when I tried it. More than likely any clumsiness will be worked out with future releases.

The only real problem I found occurred when I tried to enter text with an external keyboard. The text entered fine, but as long as the keyboard was connected I couldn’t save the changes or even see the menu bar. I had to turn the keyboard off and break the connection before I could save the changes.

For the small price, Bords is a nifty little app. It won’t organize your day or improve your job productivity enough to earn a raise.

Jenny Manytoes rates Bords

Jenny Manytoes would purr next to Bords. This is not a professional organizing or brainstorming tool, but it gets the job done for a small price. If Jenny ever decided to organize her thoughts for her blog, this is probably the app she would use. At least the one she would use if iOS used a scratching post instead of touch pad interface.

The Jenny Manytoes Rating System

Jenny Manytoes, our polydactyl cat

  • When Jenny makes biscuits on a product she thinks she’s in heaven.
  • When Jenny purrs over a product she’s very happy.
  • When Jenny naps next to a product it’s okay with her.
  • When Jenny bunches her tail she can live with a product, but she has higher expectations.
  • When Jenny leaves it in the litter box….I don’t think I need to explain this one.
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About Phillip T Stephens

Phillip T. Stephens disappeared into the Bermuda Triangle twenty years before he was born, creating a time travel paradox so confusing it remains unspoken between physicists and sci-fi writers to this day. Follow @stephens_pt
This entry was posted in 4 Stars - Purr, Organizers, Scrapbooks, Utilities and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Bords delivers digital cork board and magnets too

  1. Scott Love says:

    Thank you for the review… I work at Soliant Consulting and am one of the creators of Bords, so I hope you won’t mind my commenting on your post.

    You’re right, Bords is not really meant to compete with OmniGraffle (which I use and love). We wanted the app to feel “free form”… as though you were just slapping stuff up on a whiteboard without structure. It really is meant to be a place where you can jot ideas down in whatever form you prefer… notes, text, images, doodles, etc.

    You’re also right… we’re working to improve the interface and polish of the app as we create updates. We’ve got a forum on our website and hope if any of your readers have ideas or comments that they’ll let us know:

    http://www.soliantconsulting.com/bords/

    Our next version will include some layering controls and added tweaks to the interface. And who knows… maybe a refrigerator door. 🙂

    Thanks again!

    – Scott

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